For those of us who listen to music while we work, the list of available programs for doing so is extensive. Naturally, this wide availability of varying programs creates a hierarchy of such, and certain ones become more popular than others. In The Test Labs of the TMCnet offices, we conducted a bit of a survey to see which music programs are preferred, and which one ultimately wins the war of the in-office listening experience. If you have a preference, tweet us @julianakenny and @tmcnet!
First to the chopping block is Pandora (News - Alert). Pandora’s been around for a while, so it’s basically the first to take a serious hit when it comes to functional complaints. One Web designer made mention that Pandora “plain old sucks.” He said that there are too many advertisements, and “the music suggestions based on what you’re listening to are always inconsistent.”
While Pandora fans are dwindling in number, some remain stand-by users. TMC’s (News - Alert) product manager noted, “At work I prefer Pandora because it gives me a variety of stuff beyond what’s in my iTunes library tailored to what I’m in the mood for, and so it takes less time for me to ‘put on my music’ and is a more passive activity than sitting on my iTunes, hitting shuffle and maybe ending up listening to a bunch of Disney (News - Alert) songs that I may or may not skip through.” It’s OK. It’s hard to resist “A Whole New World.” We know.
Still users find Pandora repetitive, while others find it a great source for new music. Enter the next contestant…
Spotify (News - Alert). This program seems to be the hip, new kid on the block, and, along with an impressive selection of songs, albums and artists to choose from, you can connect with Facebook (News - Alert) to share your playlists. Admittedly, this feature is annoying to this reporter. (I hate going on Facebook to be bombarded with notifications from my friends listening to everything under the sun on Spotify and sharing it, but not everyone is a music Grinch like me.) But, it has been widely acknowledged that Spotify is pretty freakin’ cool.
One Web editor said, “I’m enjoying the capability to share your playlists with others and sync it with your Facebook so you have access to your Facebook friends’ lists. It’s even allowed me to reconnect with one of my good friends from college, who has been sending me a few songs every week since she knows I enjoy her eclectic taste in music!”
Another editor noted, “Now that I am using Spotify I don’t know how I ever got through a work day without it. It’s like having your own personal library of music that you can constantly add to for free. I especially love testing out new albums as soon as they are released.” So we’re giving Spotify a couple extra points.
One application that faired rather poorly was Grooveshark. The Web designer doesn’t like to use it because it’s browser-based and so inherently hinders his productivity on whichever browser he uses. An editor noted, “Grooveshark is cool for when I know what I want and don’t own it, but it can be limited,” which is the problem several other users have, as well.
The general consensus is that use of personal iPods is relegated to the days where one’s mood is specific enough to require such specific playlists, so iTunes and personal device usage falls by the wayside.
A runner-up in the war for the best at-work music program was iHeartRadio. A couple of users listen to their favorite radio stations in real time using their streaming stations for ’80s and '90s music.
Juliana Kenny graduated from the University of Connecticut with a double degree in English and French. After managing a small company for two years, she joined TMC as a Web Editor for TMCnet. Juliana currently focuses on the call center and CRM industries, but she also writes about cloud telephony and network gear including softswitches.